The width of a sound can help your music sound more full. This will take more space in the listeners ear which is what you want to do to increase the listening experience. With left / right processing, we are able to increase the width of the signal. You will need to add EQ curves to the track if your mixer allows it.
Some DAWs don’t have EQ plugins that allow you to have left and right processing. If this is the case then simply duplicate the sound and pan one track to the left and the other to the right. Now you are able to add EQ settings on each side.
Why Widen Your Hip Hop Track?
Widening your hip hop track will allow the music to have more dynamic range. These subtle variations in the sound help listeners have a unique experience. If you listened to popular rap songs, you can see how they pan their vocals and how the right sound and left sound differ. To make these differences clearer, put on headphones and listen to the track.
Now that you notice that the same exact vocal track sounds different in each ear, you can apply the same to your music! Again, if your current EQ plugin doesn’t have right and left processing, simply duplicate the track and adjust the settings where one side has a hard left pan and one side has a hard right pan.
Add EQ Curves To Each Side
You should change the curves on the left and right side differently. These EQ Curves must be complementary to each other, meaning if the left channel is dipping in the low-mid area, then make the right channel peaking slightly in the low-mid area. This will balance out your left and right channels while widening the sound. Experiment with the areas and hear the subtle differences in your headphones.
Widen Your Sound With A Delay
While the left and right channel processing should make your sound wider, there are other ways that can accomplish this widening effect. One way is to add a very slight delay (5ms – 20ms) to each of the channels. This may cause some phasing but you can see how the sound widens. To take this even further, you can pitch shift one side down a couple of cents. With the other side, you can pitch shift it up the same amount of cents.
If you that some serious phasing is occuring, try adjusting the exact delay times. If you want to cancel out the phase altogether, you can try adding a short reverb! It is important to fiddle with these little effects to find the perfect sound for you!
As you learn how to widen your sound, take note on how your reference tracks are panning. Do some of their pans (left / right channels) have sharper highs? Phat lows? Implement these tactics yourself by incorporating left / right processing. If your DAW’s EQ plugin doesn’t have these settings, simply duplicate your track, pan one track to the left, the other track to the right. Once you have these tracks panned, adjust the EQ settings on each track so that it compliments each other. Congrats! Send your finished projects to our Instagram!